Friday, May 04, 2012

The Status Mask

"Everybody feels inferior," said psychotherapist/author Dr. Alfred Adler, founder of the school of Individual Psychology. He pointed out that parts of our unconscious self transform feelings of inferiority into superiority through various forms of compensation and over-compensation.

I'm reminded of a woman whose life's goal is to make lots of money. She came to love cars and travels. On the way, she became arrogant, power-hungry, selfish. She then committed adultery, compromised morality, and left her family for another man for the sake of money and her convenience.

Hiding behind a "status mask" is a form of Adlerian inferiority/superiority dynamic at work. It's psychological and emotional dishonesty. The truth is, no amount of status symbols (cars, travels, money, houses, position, power etc) can satisfy or cure the insecurity inside.

If corrective treatment to develop the true self is disregarded, then an inferiority/superiority complex which Dr. Adler identifies is bound to emerge. Compensation and over-compensation foster the danger of the individual becoming more broken, selfish, aggressive, proud, status-hungry, immoral, violent, or worse.

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